Carolyn Names Books
to Noble Fame
It is Nobel time again and Noble (Not Nobel) time as well. I am
always surprised that I learn new names and new titles when the
Nobel committee announces prizes for literature. How could I not
I'm also always surprised at the names I know that do not get a
nod from Nobel. And I'm often flabbergasted at the names and titles
that are not even considered. It isn't only the Nobel that upsets
me. I hate it that many deserving books receive no awards at all
and because we are a culture that loves starshine, these books never
garner the attention or readership they deserve.
Of course, it may be that the reason that so many of these fine
writers are relatively unknown (including some of the Nobel winners)
is that they write literary material. The other is that some publish
with small presses or they subsidy- or self- publish. I believe
that the publishing industry both knowingly and innocently discriminates
against the latter and that readers (believing they know their own
taste) discriminate against both. Both groups would be better served
if everyone in a position to judge stretched themselves a bit. That
includes authors themselves who often fear breaking the rules.
Thus my Noble (Not Nobel) was born five years ago. This award is
not inclusive of every kind of writing. It is modeled on the Nobel
in that I consider books that exhibit exceptional writing skills
and explore the human condition. I want to honor work that entertains,
certainly, but also offers something more to the publishing/reading
community as a whole. The work may be flawed but it must make an
effort to change readers or the publishing world in some way.
The following books are listed in no particular order. They are,
Ta da! my suggestions for stretching -- beyond what we do in the
Bauman's And the Word Was (Other Press, 2005).
Nominated by Susan
She says she nominated him for "spending an entire book
grappling with the question of how you can accept that God exists
when you consider Auschwitz and the other horrors of the world
and of your life. Click on the cover to find this novel at Amazon.com
Davidson's Redemption (HON Books--Harlequin).
Nominated by Suzie Housley, Editor of the Have
You Heard page for MyShelf.com. Occasionally genre fiction
(in this case a historical romance set in Green Rapids, KA,
1880) crosses a line as fine as a pencil tracing. Houseley says,
"With great pleasure this reviewer gives Redemption the
highest marks she has ever attributed to any book she has reviewed."
No doubt about it, this novel is written in a style one would
expect from a romance, but there is more to a book than its
genre. Click on the cover to find Redemption at Amazon.com
Eggleton's e-book, Rarity from the Hollow
(Fatcat Press). Nominated by Evelyn Somers, reviewer for the
Missouri Review. Somers describes the book as "quirky"
(see my comment on experimental above) and because it deals
with "an ultra-convincing depiction of the lives, especially
the inner lives, of the Appalachian characters' poverty, I,
too, think it deserves a Noble. Click on the cover to download
it at Fat Cat Press.
Bob Rich's biography, Anikó: The stranger
who loved me (Anina's Book Company), is an Eppie award
winner. I usually avoid giving the Noble (Not Nobel) to books
that have already won a prize. My purpose is to bring attention
to books that have received much less than they deserve. Anikó
has, indeed, received less than it deserves even with that award
hanging on its belt. A biography set in Hungary it is a book
experimental, poetic and educational. A reader will feel more
and know more for having read it. Americans can get it in electronic
format at http://bobswriting.com. Click on the cover to go there.
Losse's chapbook, Gathering the Broken Pieces
#5 in the Poets on Peace series (Foothill Publishing). Covering
subjects from slavery to the Iraqi war, Losse's poems let us
reflect in a moment's reading on what is important. Click on
the cover to find it at Foothills Publishing.
Arana's The Winds of Sonoma, (Revell) is a
romantic story, a fictionalized version of the author's own
experiences. After reading this book, some may see our migrant
laborers in a new light. Click on the cover to find it a Amazon.com.
Ball's book of poetry, Quark Soup (Picaro
Press, Warners Bay, Australia). What I loved about Soup is how
the author pulls quark and quantum into the inner space of our
lives. Click on the cover to find it, autographed, at: Compulsive
Harris's small book of poetry, Songs in Search
of a Voice (Urban Echoes Entertainment, LLG). Here is the
lost art of rhymed poetry done well. The poems -- sometimes
light, sometimes somber -- transcend race, creed and gender.
Click on the cover to find it at Amazon.com
|Discover the Two Rivers Review's Poetry Chapbook Series.
Published three volumes at a time, Ron Mohring's
#5 volume along with Michael McFee's and Lynne Knight's poetry
is exceptional. Your order at http://trrpoetry.tripod.com/id1.html
will support poets and the work this review journal does in
publishing and sponsoring contests.
Vu Sawyer and Pam Proctor's Song
of Saigon (Warner Books). Subtitled One Woman's Journey
to Freedom, this is a memoir. It tells, poignantly, of Sawyer's
girlhood in Vietnam and her escape from that country in the
1970s. Click on the cover to find it at Amazon.com.
La Salle Caram's Rena, A Late Journey
(Plain View Press, Austin, TX). This novel touches on a subject
seldom explored in modern literature, aging. The author's language
is as lovely in this as in her first, Dear Corpus Christi. Those
interested in writing better would do well to study both. Click
on the cover to find Rena at Plain View Press.
Brown's book of poetry Unscrambled Eggs (Publish
America). This book touches lightly on poverty, aging, disappointment
and, yes, joy. Click on the cover to find it at Amazon.com.
Rosen's Silent Battlefields (iUniverse) is
mainstream novel the moves easily between commercial necessities
and the themes it explores. Rosen is a talented writer who will
attract readers of the best literature by Jewish writers. May
it find a broader audience. Click on the cover to find it at
Degroot Carter's One Sister's Song (Pearl
Street Publishing). How hard it is to live with others different
from ourselves! Carter examines what might be the most difficult
racial problem in today's society and does it sensitively, poetically.
Click on the cover to find it at Amazon.com.
Each month in this box, Carolyn lists
a writing or promotion tidbit that will help authors and a
tip to help readers find a treasure among long-neglected books
or a sapphire among the newly-published.
Coalition offers an assortment of free e-books from members
and others who are interested in helping writers. Find them
on the free e-books page and check the other things the organization
is doing to support authors -- members and nonmembers alike.
Tip: Do yourself a favor and introduce yourself to
rereading. It's easy. Pick a book you read and loved when
you were younger and read it again. Before you do, you might
want to see what others got out of such an exercise. Farrar
Straus Giroux just released Rereadings, edited by
My review of that book is available on Myshelf.com.
MyShelf.Com. All Rights Reserved.